My husband and I recently moved to Olympia to be closer to our grandchild, and we were surprised by the lack of residential options in the neighborhoods. We ultimately found a single-family home near our family but would have preferred something smaller without a whole yard to care for. After following the Missing Middle issue, it became clear to us why smaller options aren’t available. For the most part, they aren’t even allowed.
We have tried to understand the concerns of those opposed to this proposal but are confused by some of the arguments. We’ve heard those who say the Missing Middle will have a large, negative impact on Olympia neighborhoods, but also have little impact on new housing options. This seems contradictory. We’ve also heard people say that it will lower their home values, and then state that it will do nothing to address affordability. Another contradiction.
It is clear more housing options are needed, and that new housing will be brought by developers. In the case of Missing Middle housing, it will likely be small, local developers. And we should welcome renters in our city like we do any other person. There are those who simply can’t afford to buy a home, especially in today’s market. Others choose to rent for different reasons (like not wanting to care for a yard), but they are still members of the local community.
If anything, the Missing Middle is too little, too late. Let’s please move this forward.